LAWAS (April 7): A Limbang man working in Brunei and his son who have been separated from his wife and two daughters for nearly two years due to Covid-19 travel restrictions were finally reunited today.
As it is currently the fasting month of Ramadan and with Hari Raya Aidilfitri just weeks away, the family’s long-awaited reunion is even more meaningful.
Mohamad Affendy Junaidi, 43, and 11-year-old Mohamad Rafiq Irfan, who is autistic, had been living across the border in Brunei due to the former’s work as a Syarie lawyer and certified mediator.
“Praise to Allah, finally it would be our first Ramadan together after nearly two years being separated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Even though there are many more families out there who have not seen each other longer than us, but for me, the nearly two years’ time I spent away from my family feels like a very long time,” he told The Borneo Post today.
Mohamad Affendy explained he managed to cross the land border out of Brunei although the country has only allowed travel for essential services because his employment pass expired last month.
“Because my work pass had expired, I decided to return to Limbang temporarily with my son Rafiq, who is holding a dependent pass.
“At the same time, I also followed all other guidelines from the relevant authorities in Brunei,” he said.
He added that as soon as they arrived at the border in Limbang, they were screened for their vaccination status and had to take swab tests as per the latest travel guidelines from the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).
“Before arriving in Limbang by land from Temburong in Brunei, both of us had to take Covid-19 PCR swab test, which cost us BN$80 (around RM250) per person before being allowed to cross the land border,” he said.
Although the cost of the journey home was expensive, Mohamad Affendy said it was all worthwhile to be able to finally reunite with his loved ones.